Thursday, May 2, 2013

A role model at 7 years old? Sheesh!

So, Brady has developed a friendship at school that has the potential to be a bad one. Not because of the other kid or Brady, but because of the effect they seem to have on each other. Both of them have similar struggles and when together get in more trouble.

Brady, in fact, my little angel, has been encouraging his friend to do things that lead to trouble! Or encouraging him after he's gotten in trouble! Argh! What a frustrating thing to learn about.

I think the reason is they are both so happy to find someone else who has trouble making good choices. And sometimes when you see someone else doing what you are doing it almost makes it seem like what you are doing is okay, even if you get in trouble for it. "But HE does it, Mom?" I'm sure we've all heard or said that at some point in life.

And getting in trouble together may seem like fun. Brady tells me so and says it looks like his friend his having fun and Brady thinks it's fun to see what he is doing and do it too.

So, we had a very long talk with him and told him that:

1) Friends do not wish each other to get in trouble. True friends want their friends to succeed and do well and learn and grow and not get in trouble and have consequences. Does he want his friend to lose privileges at school and home? Encouraging such behavior in someone else is selfish. Friends help, not hurt.

2) Brady has the capability to help his friend by setting a good example. His friend has, I think, had a rough time in his early life in a different way than Brady. I told Brady he could be someone who helps his friend do better, he could be like a big brother and teach his friend.

3) If Brady continues to make poor choices, he may be separated from this child. Gosh, I'd hate to see that happen but it's a consequence in itself, isn't it?

He seemed to get it. He seemed genuinely sad that he had encouraged someone else's poor behavior and set a bad example by doing it himself. He wants to do better and I hope all of this sunk in.

We'll just keep taking it day by day by day, and deal with whatever comes up. In the meantime, I sure hope he can find it in his heart to be a good role model and good friend. I sure didn't think I'd have a talk like this with him at 7, but that's just the way it is.

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